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Your Basic Grilled Chicken Marinade

Your Basic Balsamic Chicken Marinade

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Your Basic Grilled Chicken Marinade is a staple, must have and must make recipe. Chicken breasts are tossed in a simple marinade consisting of basic pantry ingredients like fresh garlic and dried spices. A simple marinade that yields delicious moist chicken!
Serves 4 but can easily be doubled.
Course Homemade Ingredients & Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword easy recipe, grilled chicken, grilling, marinade, summer, your basic recipe
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 13 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 220
Author Laurie McNamara


  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil or avocado oil (plus more for greasing grill grates)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to even thickness (about 2½ pounds)


  • In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, measure and add; brown sugar, rosemary, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire and djion.
    Whisk well to combine.
  • Working in batches, place 2 chicken breasts in a large resealable bag and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound the thickest part until the chicken is an even thickness. Remove and repeat with remaining 2 chicken breasts.
    Place chicken in resealable bag.
  • Toss the chicken in the marinade. Press or squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible, seal and let marinade for 2 to 6 hours. I like to place the bag on a tray just to make sure there aren’t any leaks.
  • Once you're ready to grill, remove the chicken from the fridge so it can come up to room temperature. Use paper towel dipped in a bowl of a little extra light olive oil and wipe your grill grates.
  • Close the lid and preheat your grill to 500-550°.
  • Once preheated, remove the chicken from the marinade and place the chicken onto the hot grates, cover and grill for 3 to 4 minutes. Discard the leftover marinade. You may need to adjust the heat to avoid burning.
  • Turn and continue to grill for 4 to 5 more minutes OR until the internal temperature is 165°. An instant read thermometer is great for this!
    This chicken really likes to stick to the grill (even when oiled), so be patient and use the tongs to really scrape and get under the chicken.
  • Of course the timing will depend on how thick your chicken breasts or thighs are.
  • Transfer grilled chicken to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 784mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g